When selecting toys for toddlers, it’s important to consider their developmental skills and interests. The right materials can help shape and support their thinking, physical, language and social-emotional development.

Choose open-ended toys that allow children to create their own play experiences. These can spark their imaginations and encourage problem-solving and logical thinking skills.

1. Open-Ended Toys

Open-ended toys are a great way to encourage creative play and foster imagination. They are also a great option for toddlers who aren’t quite ready to move on to more sophisticated toys.

Some of the best open-ended toys for kids include doll houses, wooden building blocks and action figures. These toys allow children to use their imaginations and encourage pretend play, language development and social interaction with other children.

Wooden blocks are a classic and are an excellent open-ended toy for toddlers. They can be used to build a house or a car, but can also be used for small world play, peg dolls and even as an art activity!

Then there’s playdoh, which is an amazing sensory toy and allows kids to practice their fine motor skills. It’s also a great toy for building confidence and self-esteem.

Another example is kinetic sand, which is a sensory toy that your child will enjoy for hours. It’s squeezable and moldable like real sand and comes with tools so your child can create something new each time they play!

Finally, a set of realistic safari animals is another good option for open-ended play. These animals are fun to learn about and bring to life with sounds and movements.

Providing your toddler with toys that foster imagination and creativity is one of the best things you can do to help them develop their social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Toys that promote these skills are often the ones that become the most loved and appreciated by your child as they grow up.

2. Toys That Encourage Pretend Play

Toys that encourage pretend play are a great way for kids to explore their imaginations and express themselves. They can role-play the roles and activities that they see around them, which can help them develop important skills like problem solving and emotional regulation.

For instance, they might build a house for their stuffed animals or babble into a toy phone while pretending to call their parents. Or they might push a toy train along while imagining they’re riding on it.

Some of the most popular toys that encourage pretend play include a dollhouse, wooden train tracks, and a toy kitchen. These toys are also excellent for encouraging hand-eye coordination and motor skill development.

Wooden blocks are another classic toy that helps with creativity and imaginative play. These curved, hardwood blocks come in different sizes and diameters to help kids create their own designs.

Another great toy for open-ended building is Legos. These blocks are available in various colors and sizes to ensure that kids can build whatever they want, whether it’s a tower or a home for their favorite stuffed animal.

A set of wooden blocks is also a good option if your child hasn’t yet advanced to Mega-Bloks or Legos. These sets come with instructions to build specific play areas, but you can always let them take charge and build their own.

Finally, a play stand is a perfect option for young children, as it allows them to spend hours playing underneath it. They can also use it as a reading nook or hideaway.

Pretend play toys are a great way to help children develop social and emotional skills, language development, and cognitive skills. They can also help to foster their creative minds and build confidence in their abilities as they get older.

3. Toys That Encourage Language Development

Besides helping your toddler to learn new skills, toys can also be a great way to encourage language development. Some of the best types of toys to use for this purpose include books, puzzles, and motor vehicles.

Books are a favorite among many kids. They are easy to understand and often come with a variety of interactive features that can help your child learn to label, ask questions, and follow directions.

Another favorite is a simple wooden puzzle that comes with a variety of animals and themes. Talking about the different animals as they put them together helps your toddler build her vocabulary and early language skills.

For a more challenging puzzle, try one that has flashing lights or noises. These electronic toys might seem like a good idea at first, but they actually discourage communication between parents and infants, according to the Early Intervention Research Group at Northwestern University.

Toys that make sound, light up, or move are best avoided. This is because they might not be suitable for your toddler’s level of language development.

Stacking cups are another open-ended toy that can promote language development. They can be used for problem-solving, counting and shape recognition.

This toy is a favorite among many kids, and it’s also a great choice for speech-language pathologists because it’s a hands-on toy that’s perfect for building communication skills and back-and-forth conversation.

The toy’s bright colors and shapes can be used as a visual cue for children to recognize patterns, and the large stacking cup makes it easier to find the right one.

The toy’s removable quills are a fun way to practice fine motor skills as well, and they pack up neatly when it’s time for cleaning.

4. Toys That Encourage Physical Activity

Toys that encourage physical activity can help toddlers maintain healthy bodies and minds. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids should get at least three hours a day of moderate-to-vigorous activity such as games like tag, playground play, swimming, walking, skipping, and tricycle or bike riding.

The ideal toys for active kids encourage both fine and gross motor skills, boosting the small muscles in the fingers, toes, wrists, and face, and the larger muscles in the arms, legs, and torso. In addition, they also encourage children to build their balance and coordination.

In addition to encouraging children to develop their fine and gross motor skills, many of these toys also foster creativity and social interaction. For example, a busy board can encourage toddlers to learn buckling, unbuckling, zippering, and tying laces, or a wooden slide puzzle allows them to explore and build towers of blocks that come with cards for identifying the different colors and shapes.

Another great toy for active kids is a monkey balance that allows toddlers to practice counting and balance as they place the numbers on one end. This makes learning numbers a fun and interactive experience that will boost their attention span and cognitive development.

If your toddler is a fan of nature or space, this microscope can immerse them into closer-up looks of animals and plants with numerous samples that they can place under the microscope. This will help them learn about what they see on walks or in movies and TV shows and will make for a great learning toy! You can view the collection of The Eden Baby’s toys on their website and start shopping for your little one’s next toy.

Toys that mimic adult routines and let kids role-play will remain popular, especially high-tech versions of things like air conditioning remotes or phones. Toys that imitate what children see big people doing will keep them busy and engaged for hours.

5. Toys That Encourage Social Interaction

Playtime is one of the most important times for toddlers to develop their social skills. They need to learn how to negotiate rules, apologise for not being able to include someone else, and even squabble over a favorite toy. These situations are often difficult for them, but they also help them to build their social-emotional skills, which can be useful throughout their lives.

Toys that promote social interaction are often cause-and-effect toys or games that allow kids to predict how a certain action will result in another outcome. These toys are a big hit with toddlers because they’re often unpredictable and fun.

For example, this ring stack toy is a classic that helps children practice their fine motor skills while learning about colors and numbers at the same time. It also encourages them to use their imagination and try to figure out how they can fit different sized rings onto the cone-shaped ring holder.

This wooden sorting barn is a great way to introduce your child to animals and teach them about how they move. It includes 10 pieces that your toddler can place on each empty spot to make their barn look complete.

Puzzles are also a great option for encouraging social interaction because they can be played with in different ways. For example, this bugzzle comes with multiple cards that have different ways to place the colored pieces so that your child can practice their problem-solving and critical thinking skills while enjoying the colorful puzzle.

These toys can be a wonderful addition to your child’s toy box and will help them to develop their thinking, language and physical skills while also building their social-emotional abilities. Ultimately, the best way to find the perfect toys for your toddler is to take the time to look around, read labels and understand what your child wants to learn while playing with their toys.